MachineBuilding.net Technical Articles Index
An introduction to stepper motors and stepper drivers
Bill Schweber of Mouser Electronics provides an introduction to stepper motors and drivers that will help machine builders and OEMs specify the right products to suit their applications.
Prevention of white etching cracks in rolling bearings
The formation of white etching cracks (WEC) in rolling bearings can lead to their premature failure. However, a number of innovative approaches have been developed that significantly reduce the risk of WEC, says Dr Steve Lacey, engineering manager at Schaeffler UK.
Machine guarding requirements for robot cells
This article from Axelent discusses the important issue of guarding for robot cells when the guard is to be positioned within the motion range of the robot.
Safety interlocking in the waste and recycling industry
A metal recycling firm was recently fined £35,000 by the HSE after a worker’s hands were severed while cutting metal strips on an industrial baler. Industrial balers are used to compress recyclable material into stackable, manageable pieces before they are sent for reprocessing. This type of machinery should be extensively guarded and interlocked to ensure operators can only come into contact with the machine when the power has been isolated.
Vacuums for pick and place: suckers for efficiency
Robotic end-effectors are a hotbed for innovation in pick and place lines right now, and attached to each is a powerful vacuum system that delivers the suction required to move products in an efficient and controlled manner. Effectively, any type of end-tooling, from suction caps to grippers, clamshell or magnets can work with these vacuum systems, emphasises Paul Wilkinson, Business Development at Pacepacker Services, and their flexibility also enables manufacturers and contract packers to opt for multi-use end-effectors which can perform multiple tasks, resulting in fewer tool changeovers. Vacuum systems are becoming increasingly popular with the last couple of years witnessing a 30 per cent increase. Here, Paul explores the four main types of vacuum systems, how they work and the benefits of each.
Solenoid valves – one for every occasion
Solenoid valves perform an essential task in the control of fluids and gases and the basic design has been refined over the years to allow them to be utilised in a wider range of applications. Modern fluid control systems present a number of challenges that require the correct design of solenoid to achieve a reliable and efficient control process. Kelly Booth, solenoid valve specialist at Bürkert UK, looks at the different valve types and their suitability to various applications.
Top 10 tips: industrial gearbox inspection and maintenance
To prolong the operational life of your industrial gearboxes, regular inspections and maintenance is essential. On the other hand, removal of the gearbox for a full inspection and a possible overhaul can cause undesirable lengthy downtime and breaks in shift work or production lines. Here are ERIKS UK’s Top 10 tips to minimise downtime and ensure your gearbox experiences as long an operational life as possible.
Specifying standard, modified or customised worm gear sets
Darren Reynolds, the Gears Product Manager at R.A. Rodriguez (U.K.) Limited, outlines the most important factors to consider when specifying either standard or custom worm gears sets for any type of machinery.